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Lansing School Board meets Thursday night

Posted at 4:29 PM, Dec 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-05 16:29:13-05

LANSING, Mich. — The Lansing School Board meets Thursday night as the search for a new Lansing Schools Superintendent continues.

The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. and is open to the public.

The district has been looking for a Super since Yvonne Camaal Canul retired earlier this year.

Her Deputy, Mark Coscarella, was named Acting Superintendent and was considered a leading candidate for the job, but he stepped down from that role and asked to be placed on leave after allegations that he sexually harassed a former student teacher and allowed students to watch pornography when he was Holt's baseball coach were uncovered.

Dr. Coscarella's leave of absence is described by the district as a "voluntary, paid, non-disciplinary administrative leave until further notice."

Police questioned members of the team and some players told investigators that Coscarella knew about the video while others claimed he provided it.

In a statement released by the school district on Nov. 14, Coscarella said, “Today I have voluntarily requested the Lansing Board of Education place me on paid administrative leave from the Lansing School District while an investigation focused on the false allegation about me is underway.” He added, “I have asked … for leave because it is important for the district and Board of Education to continue their mission without distractions while I work around the clock to clear my name and prove my innocence. My lawyers are pursuing litigation for libel and slander against me.”

The district has since decided to expand its search to outside the area.

The original plan was to have a superintendent in place by Jan.1, but now that's being pushed back until next summer.

"A district like Lansing, with their programs, size and diversity, is going to require someone with some special skills for sure. But we're pretty confident we're going to be able to find them a great candidate,” said Greg Sieszputowski.

Sieszputowski and the Michigan Association of School Boards are helping the Lansing School District find its next superintendent.

The first step for the district and the MASB is perhaps the most important: gathering public input on what makes a good superintendent.

"We pride ourselves on the input we continuously collect in superintendent searches and it provides tremendous information to inform the board as they make their decisions going forward in developing criteria, and ultimately the selection of the candidate," said Sieszputowski.

Then, they'll meet in December to create the new job application.

"Ultimately the board has the final say on what ends up in that criteria," said Sieszputowski.

The Lansing School District will restart the application process and with the MASB’s help, they'll interview qualified candidates into the spring.

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